It’s 3 a.m. and I Can’t Sleep
Winter break has been three weeks of pure joy for me. I was able to catch up with some friends and relatives, ate a ton of good food, and slept a lot. And I mean a LOT. As a result, I’ve developed a pretty scuffed sleep schedule over the holidays.
To give you a better idea of exactly how messed up my sleep schedule is – I fell asleep today when I heard my parents getting up at 7 a.m. and woke up as the sun started to set. Now that I think about it, that was technically yesterday as it is currently 3 a.m.
So, what am I doing to fix this? To be honest, I’m not really sure myself. I’ve run into this problem more than once and have never found a solid solution that works every time. However, here are some things that I believed have helped me in at least one of those many cases.
1. Limit your screen time before bed
I think it’s safe to say that most of us use technology way more than we should. It was difficult at first, but minimizing the amount of time I spend on my devices at night has been huge for me. Based on my limited knowledge of physiology, this works because the blue light from our devices hinders our body’s ability to produce melatonin, which is an important hormone in regards to feeling sleepy.
2. Do more while you are awake
I’ve noticed that my terrible sleep schedules would always begin with me not doing enough during the day (or evening in my current case) and I would have too much energy during bedtime. Getting moderate exercise, picking up some extra shifts, and spending time on a difficult mental task, like studying, were all good ways of reducing my energy and helping me fall asleep.
3. Control your caffeine
This one’s for all you hardcore coffee addicts out there. Although I can’t fully relate, I do enjoy a nice cup of Joe every now and then. On top of that, I easily fall victim to drinking coffee late in the afternoon when I need an extra boost of energy. I always try to restrict any caffeine past noon as a general rule nowadays.
4. Make small improvements every single day
When it comes to fixing a broken sleep schedule, I immediately think of some sort of quick fix, such as pulling an all-nighter. However, the power of small, consistent improvements has become much more evident to me recently. Try adjusting your bedtime and wake-up time by 10 minutes every day and see where that takes you.
5. Pull an all-nighter
Yes, I am aware I just contradicted myself with my previous point, but there is no doubt that pulling an all-nighter has worked wonders in many of my cases. The following morning is never fun and I usually question my existence around the 1 p.m. mark. However, a successful all-nighter rarely fails when it comes to resetting my sleep schedule.
Do you have any tips for fixing a degenerate sleep schedule? I would love to know!